Sustainable Management, Conservation, and Restoration of the Amazon River Delta and Amazon-Influenced Guianas Coast: A Review

Type Article
Date 2021-05
Language English
Author(s) Anthony Edward J.ORCID1, Brondizio Eduardo S.2, 3, Dos Santos Valdenira F.4, Gardel Antoine5, Besset Manon6
Affiliation(s) 1 : CEREGE, Aix-Marseille University, 13545 Aix-en-Provence, France
2 : Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, 701 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
3 : Center for the Analysis of Social Ecological Landscapes, Indiana University, 701 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
4 : NuPAq, IEPA, Macapá 68903-372, Brazil
5 : USR LEEISA, CNRS, Ifremer, Université de Guyane, 97334 Cayenne, France
6 : i-Sea, Bordeaux Technowest, 25 Rue Marcel Issartier, 33700 Mérignac, France
Source Water (2073-4441) (MDPI AG), 2021-05 , Vol. 13 , N. 10 , P. 1371 (23p.)
DOI 10.3390/w13101371
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Management, Conservation and Restoration in Deltaic Ecosystems with Special Emphasis on the Mississippi Delta
Keyword(s) Amazon river, Amazon delta conservation, Amazon delta management, delta socio-ecological systems, Amazon-influenced Guianas coast
Abstract

The Amazon River delta may be currently characterized biophysically as a relatively preserved delta compared to the rampant vulnerability of many of the world’s large deltas. This status of relative preservation is reflected in a number of criteria: The still largely free-flowing nature of many of the rivers and the main stem of the Amazon that feed the delta in sediment, exceptional biodiversity, dominant shoreline accretion, and the absence of anthropogenically-generated subsidence. In this review, we show that these relatively reassuring conditions are progressively being called into question by the effects of dams on fluvial sediment supply to the delta, by increasing demographic, urban, and land development pressures in this still largely underpopulated delta, and by problems of governance that underplay aspects of basin-wide and deltaic environmental deterioration. A major challenge is that of bringing together these contrasting demands that are leading to the emergence of zones of environmental stress that test the resilience of this delta. An integral part of the strategy for the analysis of collective action, management, and conservation is that of considering the Amazon delta in terms of interacting socio-ecological systems. Pressures on the delta will be compounded in the future by decreasing fluvial sediment supply and sea-level rise. Although climate change is projected to generate surplus sediment, the rapid growth of dam constructions upstream of the delta will negatively impact the river’s sediment flux. Conservation and management of the Amazon River system aimed at keeping the delta resilient in the context of sea-level rise and reduction of sediment supply will require clear governance and better planning and anticipation, as well as socio-ecological integration. These are also requirements that will need to be implemented in the 1500 km-long coastal zone of the Guianas countries located west of the Amazon delta and the sediment dynamics and stability of which are largely determined by sediment supply from the Amazon.

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Anthony Edward J., Brondizio Eduardo S., Dos Santos Valdenira F., Gardel Antoine, Besset Manon (2021). Sustainable Management, Conservation, and Restoration of the Amazon River Delta and Amazon-Influenced Guianas Coast: A Review. Water, 13(10), 1371 (23p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101371 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00697/80936/